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8 September 2001, 02:00 pm
Christian Binder (AUT) Takes Title
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Christian Binder and crew (AUT)

Soling European Championship

With a win in the penultimate race and 2nd in the final race victory was secured.
The question most discussed on the last day of the Europeans was who would win the battle? Would Heiko Winkler (GER) save his 4 points advantage or would Christian Binder (AUT) go for gold as he had said he would with loads of confidence the day before.

At the first beat of race 8 everything was open with Binder in the lead at the mark and Winkler just a few boats behind. But Winkler, who had already won four races, could not hold his position and was risking on the second beat just to lose some more boats. He finally finished in 15 place, while Binder won the race and suddenly was 10 points ahead - a comfortable margin. Winkler still was in second but Auteried (AUT) only three points close.

Race 9 was the decisive race in the championship. Binder once again used his great boatspeed and solid tactics to be third at the windward mark. Auteried was in the lead and Winkler 5th. That would have meant for the overall result: Binder 1st, Auteried 2nd, Winkler 3rd. Auteried held his place and more, opening a gap of almost one kilometer between himself and the next boats. Binder controlled Winkler throughout the race, taking a 2nd place to secure his first European title and Winkler took a 4th place to finish second overall.

The event ended, after a week of terrible weather conditions, in a great way for the host country and the host club, with Christian Binder (AUT) taking the title and the President of the host club, Carl Auteried (AUT) taking bronze.

The reigning Yngling World Champions Skolaut/Skolaut/Riha (AUT 24) showed their class in their first appearance in the Soling to place 6th overall of the 31 entries.

Also competing for the first time in the Soling was Tornado sailor, Andreas Hagara (currently 4th in the world rankings issued 3 September 2001), who still needs some time to adjust to monohulls and finished midfleet.
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